The ABCs of NYC Charters

The NYC Department of Education (NYC DOE) released its 2012-13 Progress Reports for all public and charter schools*. Charter schools continue to earn a higher distribution of A and B grades than district schools; 69% of charter schools scored an A or B grade over 63% for the district.

This achievement is significant as Progress Reports attempt to control for demographic differences in each school by comparing to “Peer Schools”, whose students have similar demographics, and often charters are compared to specialized and selective district schools. The reports assign a letter grade to each school, based on student test scores, student progress, attendance, and “learning environment” survey results, all heavily weighted to account for differing student characteristics.

As reported in previous years, more A grades were awarded to schools affiliated with networks than independent charter schools. Over 94% of charter high schools earned As and Bs, which is an increase of 17 percentage points over last year’s results. Furthermore, 47% of charter high schools received an “A” in the College and Career Readiness Category; only 26% of district high schools did. Of the charter schools that received a D or F on the 2011-12 Progress Reports, 87% increased at least one grade level (50% improved two or more), compared to 76% for District Schools.

Click on the image below to use the interactive chart:

*Note that the above School Level categories do not include charter schools: District 75, High School Transfer, K-2, and YABC (Young Adult Borough Centers). One charter, John V. Lindsay Wildcat Academy Charter School, is categorized as a Transfer High School, which has a different Progress Report methodology, but has been included under the High School category in this analysis.